Found by my son Nic on Wikipedia:

The Wilhelm scream is a frequently-used film and television stock sound effect first used in 1951 for the film Distant Drums.[1] The effect gained new popularity (its use often becoming an in-joke) after it was used in Star Wars and many other blockbuster films as well as television programs and video games.[2] The scream is often used when someone is pierced with an arrow, falls to his death from a great height, or is thrown from an explosion.

The Wilhelm scream has become a well-known cinematic sound cliché, and is claimed to have been used in over 216 films

This is the sound.

By the way, Nic thanks everyone for their help on his blog and his writing project.  He is writing a novel over the next year, dealing mixing his interest in sports with dystopian themes.  This entry into the Hayek poster contest actually comes really close to the themes in his book.  I thought he was getting on a wrong track by trying to use Atlas Shrugged too much as a model.  While I love the book and it has had a profound effect on me, as a work of fiction it is pretty limited, with black and white characters and no character movement/development at all.  I am making him read the Fountainhead right now as a better example of having more intriguing characters.


  1. Bearster:

    Sorry Warren, this time I think you're totally off base. Flat characters who didn't develop??

    Even without its philosophical message, it is a great work of literature. Which is why you don't see "The Atlas Shrugged of the gun rights movement" or other "Atlas Shrugged of whatever theme" on any best seller lists.

    *shakes head*

  2. Chris Sandvick:

    Agree with Bearster: how shallowly does somebody have to read the book to think there's no character development for Hank Rearden, Dagny Taggart or even minor characters like the Wet Nurse or are that they are "flat"? The complaint reads as a gripe that John Galt doesn't follow the Hero's Journey.

  3. LowcountryJoe:

    I did not know your son was responsible for attaching that picture to the Hayek quote. I thought it was brilliant, so I linked to it on my Facebook account.

  4. el coronado:

    if it's a study of intriguing characters that's wanted, the trick is to study closely the best 3 books by the best writer/technician/craftsman i've ever read: trevanian. in order: 1) 'the main', with lapointe, moishe, david, and mlle. montjean - see also her mother, yo-yo. 2) 'shibumi', featuring le cagot, kishikawa, otake-san, de lhandes: 4 of the best-written characters out there, ever. (not too sure about hel: i have this idea that hel, and his pursuit of 'shibumi', is really just trevanian's little joke: setting his [anti-]hero on a quest for an ideal that sounds suspiciously like a teenager's notion of "being really cool") 3) 'the summer of katya', if for no other reason than watching the narrator change as he ages.

    failing that, there's always remo and chiun.